Costa Dorada

The hugely-long-in-France summer holidays are almost over but we managed to fit in one more trip away before the kids go back to school.

This was our first ever house swap – I arranged a swap with a couple with a holiday home in Salou without doing too much research because I knew we could keep things simple and drive there.

It was only when I read this post by Sally Whittle by chance and did a bit more research that I started to panic a bit. Was it all going to be burgers and chips? Were the beaches going to be horrifically crowded? Would we be kept awake all night by karaoke competitions?

Actually, it was nothing like that at all. The apartment we had borrowed was in the “pueblo” part of the town which has no bars or clubs and was very quiet. The beaches are stunning and admittedly, some are crowded but you don’t have to look very far to find one which isn’t. We particularly liked the beach at Mont Roig by the Oasis Mar campsite and Del Cavet beach in Cambrils. Most beaches in the area have a shallow gradient and gentle waves making them ideal for children.

Salou’s restauarants were, on the whole, not brilliant but we did find Villa Alexander which was excellent and very reasonably priced if you stuck to the 25 euro menu (three courses including wine and coffee.) Plus it’s right on the sea front and gives you a brilliant view of the dancing fountain show, which Livi adored.

We had great weather so didn’t really do a lot apart from beach stuff, although we did go to Tarragona for the day and visited the Gaudi centre in nearby Reus, which was excellent. PortAventura is also very nearby, we have been before and would love to go back (I adore theme parks) but it was too hot this time.

Costa Dorada is apparently popular with Brits because of its proximity to Reus airport which is served by Ryanair, but it didn’t feel over-run at all. If you’re looking for a beach holiday not too far from home and without spending a fortune, you really could do a lot worse.

About catherinecooper

Journalist and author specialising in travel with children. I write for several national publications and am author of Travelling with Children: A Parent's Guide. You can see some of my articles at
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2 Responses to Costa Dorada

  1. Charlote says:

    Hi :)!!

    I’m glad that you could spend a fantastic holiday in Salou. Salou is a lovely town on the Costa Dorada where you can do many activities: going to the beach, play sports, go out, walk around, relax. It’s a great place to go with children. The last time I rented an apartment with and have not had any problems.


  2. Thanks Charlotte – we had a great time.

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